The Ford Taurus That Didn’t Make It

From the June 2022 issue of Motor vehicle and Driver.

Minimizing drag, expanding innovation, and increasing top quality were primary things to consider in conceptualizing the Taurus, as was proving to individuals that Ford was breaking away from the automobiles of the Malaise Period. To achieve these aims, the task got a devoted crew of designers, engineers, and entrepreneurs all doing the job together. “The car or truck was designed by a single team, Group Taurus, from start off to end. This gave the merchandise a cohesive appear and experience from inside out,” suggests Jamie Myler, Ford’s senior investigate archivist. That this concept was novel need to communicate one thing about Detroit’s failings during that interval.

The team journeyed into the windmills of their minds and arrived up with models encouraged by neo-futurist visionaries like Syd Mead, generation-style lead for Blade Runner. “The emphasis on drag coefficient needed a tighter search, with significantly less overhang of the bumpers, considerably less vacant room in the wheel wells, and doorways that wrapped earlier mentioned the roof,” Myler states.

Designers at some point arrived at a wind-dishonest hatchback type with a teardrop condition. In actuality, all early Taurus principles ended up hatches or wagons, evolving from Giugiaro-esque knife-edginess to hatchback blobs. A sedan was released to give the car or truck a more standard appearance, and in 1981, designers mocked up a full-dimension clay design of a Taurus hatchback (system code: DN5). Engineering concerns about the hatch’s adverse influence on structural rigidity derailed the design.

“I think the early layout themes that had the hatch would have been appealing,” Myler posits. Consider a person of the slippery outré patterns outfitted with the Taurus SHO’s 220-hp V-6 and 5-speed. It could have simply been a prescient competitor to today’s perform­ance “4-door coupes” this sort of as the Audi RS7 or the Tesla Design S.

Continue to, the car that Ford settled on pushed domestic design and style far plenty of forward that the Taurus stood in as a futuristic vehicle in RoboCop and Back to the Long run Part II. It also aged fairly gracefully. “The innovative design was a little bit jarring to some,” Myler suggests. “But the truth that it was not [entirely] redesigned for a 10 years speaks to the reputation.”

Just Say No

This 1981 hatchback proposal for the 1st Taurus (under) wasn’t picked, but the aerodynamic form and the doors that wrap into the roof created it to creation. The Mercury Sable bought the prototype’s skirted fenders, and the taillights motivated the 1988-1/2 Escort’s.


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